Il suo fiore innocente

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Twenty-three

Izabella had no idea he had meant she was literally going with him, to his house until he told her to inform her brother she wasn’t going to be going home that night.

Panicked at the thought of being in the same house as him, that too his, she tried persuading him that it was best she went home.

“No. I want you with me tonight. Just for tonight.” Enrico pleaded, something he had never done before.

Izabella sighed and nodded.

“Ok. I-I’ll just tell Jacob I’m staying with Amelia.” She grabbed her phone and sent her brother a quick text as Enrico dialed someone.

“Austin, there’s a man in the alley next to Sol Café. I want you to lock him in the dungeon. We have unfinished business.” Izabella stiffened in her seat and Enrico noticed, his eyes meeting hers as he instructed the man on the other side.

After a few more words being exchanged, he hung up and the car was filled with complete silence and it was getting to Izabella.

“I’ve seen this car before.” The words were out before she could think and Enrico tensed.

“Well, there are many cars like this.” He shot back, hoping she wouldn’t figure out where she had seen it.

Izabella nodded at his words, agreeing. She internally facepalmed.

Of course she had seen it before, his car wasn’t one of those rare ones, so obviously she would’ve seen it before.

“I’m not going to kill him, just interrogate him.” Her head snapped in his direction, a perplexed expression on her face.

“The man?” She questioned and he nodded, exhaling through his nose.

There was a knock on the window at Izabella’s side and she jolted, clutching her heart and exhaling deeply when she saw Amelia’s smiling face.

Enrico rolled down the window and shot the woman a smile, his perfectly aligned, snow-like teeth on display.

“Thank you.” He said as she stuck Izabella’s things rough the window.

The older woman waved him off with a kind smile.

“It’s no problem dear. I suppose you’re taking her home now?”

Enrico and Izabella shared brief eye contact before she decided to speak up.

“Actually, he wants me to spend the night and I told Jacob I was sleeping over at yours. I hope you don’t mind.” Amelia blinked, her brain slowly processing the information before a blinding smile took over her features, her eyes disappearing.

“Of course I don’t. Have fun dear. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t approve. Actually, I’d approve of anything you two did, it’s your father and brothers wh-”

“Amelia!” Izabella squeaked, her pale face heating up as a scarlet blush overtook her features, starting from her neck.

Enrico had a faint smile playing on his lips, but wiped it away when Izabella looked to him, clearly embarrassed.

“I’ll cover for you, dear. Don’t worry. Goodnight.” The older woman waved at them before turning around and walking back into the café.

The drive was silent, both of them too occupied with their thoughts and Izabella didn’t even know when she fell asleep. Enrico glanced over at her to see her head slumped against the cold, foggy window in an uncomfortable way.

Stopping the car, he leaned over and brought her head head onto his lap, releasing her messy hair from the bun and running his fingers through it.

She shuffled a bit and clutched his thigh, smiling a bit.

Enrico grinned at the sight and started the car once again, his smile never leaving his face.

Five minutes later he pulled up to his house and punched in the code at the gate.

The large, steel gates opened slowly and closed behind him as he drove through them.

Enrico parked the car in the driveway under the large balcony and lifted Izabella’s head from his lap, placing it on the head rest before getting out.

He walked around the car and opened her door, scooping her up in his arms like she weighed nothing and kicking the door shut with his feet.

He walked up the stairs and balanced Izabella on one arm as he scanned his thumb and pushed the key he retrieved from his back pocket into the keyhole and turned the handle after the soft click as heard.

Pushing the door open with his feet, he walked into his house and kicked the door close. As he walked up the stairs, Izabella woke up and looked up at him.

Enrico smiled down at her.

“Go back to sleep, fiore.” He told her and she shook her head, gripping his shoulders tighter.

“You can put me down now.”

“No.” He stated and she sighed, knowing he wouldn’t no matter what she said.

“I’m hungry.” She announced and he nodded, stopping in front of a dark, oak door in the dimly-lit hallway.

“I’ll get you something. Can you get that handle for me, fiore?” Izabella looked behind her and stretched her hand, turning the handle and pushing the door open.

Enrico walked in and laid her on the large bed with grey bedding.

“Freshen up and come down for dinner.” Izabella didn’t say anything but was wondering what she was going to wear, after all he as a man, a very large one and she was a very small female.

Enrico left the room and closed the door behind him, he was going to get clothing for her.

He walked into his bedroom and grabbed a t-shirt and one of his unused boxers and walked back to the room she was going to sleep in.

When he opened the door, Izabella was standing in front of the mirror near the bed, staring at the huge purple bruise covering her entire throat.

It was ugly and both of them knew it. However, to Enrico it didn’t make her any less beautiful. It was something that showed him just how much she needed protection and he was willing to give her that.

“Fiore.” At the sound of his voice, she jumped and stepped away from the mirror, removing her hands from her neck.

She avoided eye contact as he approached her, keeping her head down until he stepped so close to her that he could have smelt her enticing watermelon shampoo mixed with her natural peach scent.

He had always loved the scent of peaches and the fact that she smelt of them was a bonus to the things he loved about her.

“Fiore.” He called once again, placing his hand under her chin and raising her head. The first thing he noticed were her teary eyes.

“I’m not crying.” She insisted before he could speak, reaching up to wipe at her eyes.

“Sure.” He replied, amused and shut up when she glared at him.

“Something just g-got into my e-eye.” She stuttered and Enrico threw the clothes in his hand on the bed and wrapped his arms around her, pulling her into his chest and kissing her hair.

The butterflies in his stomach roared and it was a weird feeling for him. It wasn't like he didn’t get nervous or anxious around her, but the feeling was more intense and he blamed it on the fact that he was finally touching her.

“It’s ok to cry, fiore. Just let it out.” His chest rumbled as he spoke and Izabella’s ear rested just above his heart. She listened as it raced beneath her ear and smiled.

Enrico was the biggest hypocrite around. There he was, telling her it was okay to cry and encouraging her to do so, but never had he once cried since his life changed.

He always saw it as a sign of weakness and thought it wasn’t right for a man to cry.

It was so stereotypical of him.

“Thank you.” Izabella breathed into his chest and Enrico pulled back, gazing down at her flushed, tear-stained face.

“You don’t ever have to thank me, fiore.” It was the second time he had said something like that and it left Izabella baffled.

According to what she was thought, when someone saves your life, you thank them and she was doing just that, but there was the world’s most feared man standing right in front of her, telling her she didn’t have to thank him.

Enrico released her and stepped away before he did something she would hate him for.

“Have a bath and wear those. I’ve never worn the boxers before.” He gestured to the pile of clothes on the bed and Izabella nodded.

When he left the room, Izabella stripped down into her underwear, walking into the bathroom, not being surprised by its design.

Apart from her being accustomed to such things, it was inevitable that a man like Enrico Silvano had a bathroom larger than hers. It was rather plain though, only a few white towels hanging on the towel rack near the sink.

There was no body wash and Izabella sighed, walking back into the bedroom to put on her clothes and nearly had a heart attack when she saw Enrico standing at the door, a bottle of body wash in his hand.

“Oh my gosh!” She squealed, slamming the door shut, not feeling guilty for doing that in his face. She was too embarrassed to think about that anyway.

He had just seen her half-naked.

Enrico Silvano had just seem her half-naked.

She stayed silent for a few minutes, staring at herself in the mirror as her thoughts flowed.

Seeing her in such a state meant he saw her scars and they were something she wanted to hide from the world. She had never planned for anyone to see them.

The only people who knew about them were her father and brothers, even Amelia didn’t and she had just shown them to Enrico Silvano.

What was he going to think of her now?

Was he going to see her as more ugly than he already did?

She knew her scars were hideous and often wished she could somehow get rid of them.

Having someone see them, especially in such a circumstance made her feel exposed. She felt like they were out there for the world to see.

Her scars held terrifying and horrible memories and having them displayed like that felt like an old wound reopening.

The tears came and fell as she slid down the wall beside the bathtub and there was no stopping them.

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